In May I had the pleasure of shooting a wedding in South Philadelphia at the American Swedish Historical Museum. Boasting timeless architecture, and a grand staircase– I could not imagine a more perfect venue for this couple.
The day began at the beautiful hotel W. Since I was second shooting this wedding, I was fortunate enough to learn a lot about the groom, and his family. He was currently in the Navy after attending the naval academy! Some of his details included his uniform pins, and hat. The groom and his three brothers comprised the groomsmen.
From the Hotel W in Philadelphia, we headed to the First National Bank in Old City Philadelphia. We took some groom portraits here before his beautiful bride arrived for their first look! The 1st national bank along with the Merchant’s Exchange building are two iconic buildings in Old City. I have shot countless engagements at these buildings, and are a timeless backdrop for any photo opportunity.
From the first bank, after taking Bride & Groom portraits, and bridal party photos, we headed to American Swedish Historical Museum for more portraits and the wedding itself! Outside of the American Swedish Historical Museum there are more places for portraits than you could imagine. From the front steps, to a veranda that gives you an Italian coast feel right on JFK– you’d never know you were nestled right next to the stadiums. In case of rain or inclement weather, there is also a grand staircase inside, and beautiful art to take your photos near.
I truly love the versatility of this venue. We were inside for family photos, in the veranda type structure for portraits, and then on the lawn for the ceremony. As family gathered, we had the esteemed honor of photographing this wedding and their guests. If you’ve ever seen me crying during vows, no you didn’t! It is no secret that I am a literal softy when it comes to weddings– I cry during the vows, the speeches, and especially during the father daughter dance. After I lost my mom, I thought I’d cry at the mother-son dance, but NOPE.
Anyway, my favorite part of a ceremony to photograph, besides the first kiss, are parents reactions. Most parents are attentive, and emotional during all of the big moments. The couple is so focused on each other that it is hard to catch all of the in-between moments, and that’s where we come in. While capturing the ceremony, I find it imperative to capture guests and important member’s of the family reactions.
Time for the cocktail hour! Which is arguably my favorite part of the day, & let’s be real, everyone’s favorite part of a wedding. This is the time where you get the best food, the best time to mingle, and the drinks!
During the cocktail hour, I usually slip into the reception space to get photos without people in the background. As the couple, you never get to see your reception space clean (unless you do a planned reception space reveal). I take it upon myself to get you photos of the full room, decorations that are important (bar signs, any small details), as well as tablescapes. If you hired a planner, chances are that your room has several different tablescapes in way of flower, decor, candles, etc.
After getting all of the details, it is time to get the party started! This couple decided to only do a bride & groom entrance, which I LOVE!
Then the rest of the night went how you would expect it– First dance, father-daughter & Mother-son dance, followed by speeches, and DANCING!!!
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a golden-hour chaser, lover of everything sweet, and medical student turned photographer based in West Chester, PA. While I'm not out photographing weddings, you can find me working in my office (aka the couch in my fiance & I's living room) with my two Australian shepherds snuggled up beside me. Click through to read about what fuels my fire and my "why" behind photographing couples and weddings.
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